I went to see a good friend a couple of days ago, we were planning to see a movie and do some shopping. When I got to her house, she commented that my hair looked shorter, to which I responded, YES, I just had it cut. She just looked at me and that was pretty much the end of the conversation. She didn't tell me I looked bad, but she didn't say I looked good either, so my assumption is that this hairdo is a don't. Which is too bad, because I'm actually kind of happy with it. Whatever.
But that got me thinking. When I worked, I got daily affirmations about my appearance. And if I got a haircut, well then ratchet the compliments up a couple of notches. Because that is what women do. Even if we're not being 100% honest, and to be fair, that is sometimes the case. Women can be snippy and backstabbing and cliquish but we are also incredibly supportive. I don't think I realized just how much I thrived on that until I didn't have it. Sure, my husband compliments me (when prodded), but it isn't the same. He has to tell me I look beautiful.
I really do miss it. I miss people complimenting my shoes or my purse or my clothes or my hair or WHATEVER. Just complimenting me. I hadn't realized what a big part of my self-confidence relied on those little pearls. They were a barometer for how I gauged myself.
Perhaps in some ways this is good. I don't look to external sources to measure my self-worth. These days, I alone am responsible for boosting myself up. It is only my reflection that compliments me on a regular basis. Which isn't the worst thing in the world, I suppose. But I have to tell you, that bitch is kind of stingy with the praise.